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Comment: What if... you could see how little we care? (Score 1) 51 51

I'm still not sure how In intend to celebrate the IMPENDING DISMAL FAILURE of the EADP Mission fund raiser to raise $200k for producing a set of plans to for a viable asteroid deflection/destruction mission. Win or lose, something besides NOTHING ready to deploy on short notice. What kind of cake would be appropriate for this level of fail?

185 people have contributed $8,803 of $200k. Two of them are me.

WHAT IF a simple test appeared out of the blue one day... something that you could not ignore. Despite any best effort to put a positive spin on it, the moment it flicks into your mind you think to yourself, "All is lost."

A TEST as clear and obvious as it is simple. Something that no amount of explaining away could touch, for which no rational excuse was possible, and even the most carefully constructed counter-arguments reveal themselves as elaborate denial mechanisms, unworthy even of response.

Despite hundreds of trillions of real and imagined dollars in circulation, a populous modern society of the self-proclaimed 'age of enlightenment' cannot raise an amount of money equivalent to that of a single yearly CEO's salary...

We have built the Internet... and connected our world... to.... well shit.
I can't even think up a single good reason anymore.
It all seems like so much tripe, if we're in the process of failing this simple test.

Comment: Re:while video is great it is biased (Score 1) 51 51

Non-sequitur much, dumbfuck? What the fuck does posting as AC, the only way I can post since I have no account, have to do with anything?

It means we cannot see your face so we can poo on it, because you squatted and did a poo on Scott Manley because you claim he lacks the "scientific credentials" that enable him to poo properly for science --- despite the clear evidence that he has created a visualization useful to inquiry and debate, has documented his methods and made clear his reasons for pursuing the quest.

Great minds poo ideas.
Average minds just poo.
Small minds post as AC to squirt liquified poo on those they consider unworthy in the hope that they can trigger some poo-slinging herd response, because they enjoy to watch such things.

If you are God and are posting as AC because the keying of your One True Name as you registered would unwind creation and cause the heavens to become unmade, then that's cool.

Comment: No 'awareness' necessary... FUND THIS SHIT. NOW. (Score 0) 74 74

EADP HAIV Funding campaign has only 12 days left. Only 177 people and $8,475 of $200k raised.
C'mon please. For short notice impact threats this mission is/would be the ONLY thing on the table.
Please, just go there and read what they have to say, what the plan is. Only 12 days left.
I am so extremely fucking embarrassed for my species right now.

The take-away talking points of the threat are no duh. Grab any kid and ask 'em how the dinosaurs died, you'll probably get the right answer. Ask the kid, could it happen tomorrow? They'll probably say, yeah I guess. Now, release the kid.

Now grab some BULLSHIT STATISTICS-ABUSING disaster apologist, you know, the ones that keep repeating with glee that "on average 100 people die every year" from something that could/might/will kill EVERYONE, as if that statistic means anything at all. Now release the apologist, letting 'em fall on their head.

We don't need to raise 'awareness' or make a special flag to wave or make a Youtube video or put a "I made fun of Armageddon on Slashdot" feather in your cap. So many feathers in so many caps around here, thought you'd all be flying around by now. I'm kinda sorry for venting but I've brought up this topic around here and have seen too many answers that translate to, "I dunna give affuck, it's God's Will". I hope the vast bulk of you who haven't commented on this topic at all are open on the idea of weaponizing space for our planet's defense.

If I had wealth or mortgageable assets I'd have ALREADY funded the damned thing.
All by MYSELF in one shot.
That is embarrassing to me...
I really thought that after 50 years on Earth I'd have played my cards better.
Now I am reduced to begging, to help raise $200k
for a cause I believe to be as 'verdant' and 'just' as any on Earth.
And being reduced to begging strangers for money on behalf of this mission
makes me even more angry and resentful.
I'm a real mess.

Comment: Stubbing your toe (Score 1) 52 52

Stubbing one's toe is a potentially life-threatening incident.

Did the paper address this? I would think that the risk of stubbing one's toe would be much higher while wearing AR glasses.

We need more papers like this one. The complete and total characterization of all potential safety issues should be a reasonable goal before anyone is allowed to sell (or wear) one of these devices.

Maybe the FDA should issue a ban while it considers common-sense regulation (like the FAA did for drones).

Comment: Re: Sounds about right. (Score 1) 107 107

3 for 3.
One for all, and all for one!

Why is this article (in general) ruffling so many feathers? Because it is a thinly-disguised Malthusian Energy hit-piece specifically targeted at the center of IT's most sacred golden calf, the cloud server industry. The reason that the assumptions made in this study are confusing to many (as in, why are we even on this page? Isn't an overall one-third quiescent portion a sign of a properly engineered critical system?) is that it was not motivated by intelligent resource usage concerns at all.

Energy-environmentalists are like beavers these days. Their teeth are always growing, so they have to gnaw on something. So today they are gnawing on you. These hit pieces are everywhere these days.

Energy usage on every conceivable scale is the 'new' pseudo-environmentalism, and the bar of publishable relevance has been set low so that everyone can participate. So they do. In the olden days you could enjoy your hot shower without guilt and read a book in the brilliance of that 100 watt light bulb... secure in the knowledge that so long as you were part of a team that was striving towards a general goal of greater efficiency on some massive scale, or heading off the problem entirely by developing cheaper and less limited sources of energy, you were a net 'positive' for humanity. And you were.

Somewhere along the line WE let tabloid environmentalism take over, and the scale was tipped towards presumptive guilt. WE let this happen. This is a religious mental disorder for which no actual religion is necessary. Now the merest accusation of wastefulness gains traction because it resonates with that "we're fucking up the planet" meme, and the burden of proof has shifted to YOU as the individual to 'prove' you are a net-positive or at least a neutral. Whether you are conscious of it or not you have bought into an idea of Original Sin.

It's time to reject the notion that energy is somehow is in 'short supply', 'expensive' or 'harmful to the planet'. What is actually in short supply these days is actually the innovative drive to secure better base load energy sources . And what there is a useless dearth of are people striving for (and achieving) ten minutes of fame by pointing out some comparatively tiny 'waste' of energy somewhere, and using that fame (a phenomenon enabled by click-through environmentalists)... to put some one-ten-thousandth of one-millionth of humanity's energy usage 'on trial'. It diverts you from your daily pursuit, whatever that is. It may deliver the illusion that you're making a positive contribution just be reading the stuff. Nope.

Beaver-chewing on specific industries that are built with redundancy and a certain amount of slack for various reasons, many good, is a waste of time. The best design is an over-design after all, and the real world is old-school. Only those working on solving the BIG problems at any given time are our best real hope.

Don't distract those people, where ever they may be.
For all we know there may be just a few left.

The campaign to develop standard plans for a launch vehicle to intercept asteroid threats stands at 174 people and $8,447 raised of $200k with 20 days left to go. If it was some silly little Raspberry Pi thing it would be funded already many times over. And I was hoping this was the Smartest Generation.

Comment: Re:Wiki-Enquirer? (Score 0) 100 100

How is this at all what Wikileaks is supposed to be for? At this point it seems more like crass voyeurism than any type of serious attempt to shine a light on corporate misconduct.

Sony has done a lot of evil in the past (remember rootkits?). By dumping this dataset, Wikileaks is doing two things:

1) Airing Sony's misdeeds, with the possibility of bringing them to justice. Possibly getting tried in the court of public opinion.

2) Encouraging other companies to not be evil. If everyone knows that their illegal activities might come to light, it'll act as a deterrent.

Note that the 4K stuff was picked up by Apple Insider, and consider their mandate.

Hold off a bit before passing judgement. If a more journalistic outlet finds something newsworthy, it might paint the data dump as worthwhile.

Comment: Snake oil is everywhere (Score 1, Informative) 666 666

There's a lot of snake oil outside of traditional medicine, but there's a lot of it *within* traditional medicine as well.

One of the really obvious low-hanging fruit that I've seen is the Burzynski Clinic.

To summarize, Stanislaw Burzynski (a doctor in Texas) claims to have invented a new cancer treatment that's better than Chemo. Someone made a movie "Cancer is serious business" which shows lots and lots of case file evidence that this is true.

We have a claim, and we have evidence. Is this bunkum or a scientific breakthrough?

It's usually easy to figure this out: interview the patients, see if they were treated, if they got better (or not), and if they are happy with the treatment. Examine the evidence and see if it's consistent with the claims.

In most cases of "bunkum", you'll find that the patients feel they were cheated, the treatment had no effect, they were also on traditional treatments, and so on and so on. It's pretty easy to separate the wheat from the chaff by examining the evidence.

In the case of Stanislaw Burzynski, no one does this. Read up on the reports and find that no one addresses the evidence directly: it's all ad-hominem attacks ("he's not a real doctor, he's not a cancer researcher"), indirect rationalizations ("it can't work because it doesn't fit my model", he doesn't have an explanation for *why* it works, it must be bunkum because it's too good), administrative accusations, and so on and so on.

One particularly salient point, brought up by many, is that the treatment is "untested". His treatment doesn't work because there are no studies to confirm this.

No one addresses the evidence.

I think what medical science, and science at large, have to realize is that people are starting to wise up to these "absence of evidence" statements. Just having a doctor say "there are no studies showing it's effective" won't cut it any more - it's seen as a verbal hand-waving to support schools of thought. It's "absence of evidence is evidence of absence".

This is what happened with Homeopathy. People had a rationalization for *why* it works and there was some historical evidence. Add in some first-hand accounts, and suddenly you've got a miracle cure that science can't explain (but really works!).

Not every crazy theory needs a full-fledged study, but I suspect a lot of good could be done by taking the top "fad" populist beliefs and making simple, definitive studies. I'd feel a lot more comfortable if a doctor could say "we studied it and there's no effect" instead of "there's no evidence that this has any effect".

The prior shows a logical certainty, the latter is rationalization.

Comment: Scientists move the world (Score 1) 305 305

Scientists have eliminated smallpox from the world, and we're about 5 years shy of eliminating polio. I read about new strategies for malaria each year (making stronger mosquitos that resist the malaria infection, for instance).

Muhammad Yunus is a PhD scientist who started the Grameen Bank, in 1999 had reduced poverty by 40% worldwide(*). His TED talk is interesting.

Everybody is working towards new energy sources: wind and wave, solar (in various forms), and even nuclear. There's a Hackaday prize on the theme of "save the world, build something that matters" with over 500 entries.

We're putting up cell phone towers in Africa, giving clean water to the Bangladeshi, inventing pot-in-pot refrigerators, and helping people use propane instead of charcoal (with attendant improvements in health).

I don't hear scientists talk like this, and that's fine, it's probably not their place. But evidence isn't enough to actually move people to action, you do actually have talk about right and wrong, and why this thing is wrong and must be stopped.

What the heck are you talking about?

Scientists move the world.

Clinging to some outdated religion is what holds us back.

(*) According to a Scientific American article that I am citing from memory, and my memory of the article may be flawed, and it's really old information.

Comment: What did Jesus say about...? (Score 0) 108 108

I'm curious: The bible recognizes, accepts, and at places condones slavery. What would Jesus have said about this subject? Also, should we take direction from the bible on this issue?

Also: Jesus himself got angry and tore up the bazaar in the temple. I'm trying to be like Jesus in all ways (not making that up), and I'm wondering if it's OK to do that? Is getting angry on occasion, and doing damage to public areas OK for the informed activist?

And finally: What does the bible have to say about homosexuality? Many *many* biblical scholars through history that have interpreted the bible as being four-square against homosexuality - should we accept their interpretations because they are scholars and have studied the field extensively?

+ - Call for Excuses: No Need for an Asteroid Intercept Mission!

An anonymous reader writes: For short response times and to have any discernible effect at all there is literally nothing else on the table but a kinetic impactor with nuclear assist, be it a conventional nuclear explosion or an Orion/Casaba-Howitzer charge. Talking about pushing with light is fun, imagining 30 years to push slowly is fun, but let's cut to the quick. Humanity is on trial here so let's hear the contrary evidence. Why would it be better to have no workable plan at all? After all, launching nuclear weapons into space is a violation of treaty. Let's hear your most passionate arguments in defense of that treaty. Be quirky and irreverent — after all, life is just one big joke anyway — and for the FIRST TIME time in Slashdot history I call for EVERYONE to post as AC. Let's have true a free-for-all!

As an aside... if this notable event had occurred over Silicon Valley or Washington, DC... would the IndieGoGo HAIV campaign be stalled today at 173 persons (two of which are myself) and $7,747 (of $200k), with only 22 days remaining...? Let's come up with ways that $200k would be better spent, the sillier the better! And as that scoundrel 'Q' says — "May whatever God you believe in have mercy on your soul. This court stands adjourned."

Comment: In Planned Obsolescence World: kill 'em. (Score 1) 59 59

For NASA to build an orbiting depot to refuel/patch its own satellites, and even secret military devices of NATO countries --- the cost/benefit analysis of what is likely to happen can be completely considered --- and no one's job is at stake. Within a government or military entity everything is considered to be a 'mission' that is either a success or a failure.

But the moment this NASA facility drifts into range of someone else's corporate private property... the clouds will part and the night sky will fill with lawyers. Now there is a product being delivered. It's easy to imagine a utopian scenario where everything goes all right, the happy satellite is refueled and goes on its merry way, and its owner shares some of its years of '$free$' money with NASA to help recoup its expenses.

One time fixed price for refueling, or sliding scale based on projected income from satellite? Projected by whom? What if the satellite is still within its original life expectancy? Will the corporation be able to offset the expense of its early demise with the profit from its extended lifespan plus refuel cost... or will it it's profitable orbit began to decay towards Chapter Seven? Because money is involved even a successful mission is not that simple. A large part of the complexity arises because major capital projects are launched for a per-determined time span and a certain expected fixed rate of return. Once those decisions are made corporate boards of directors and the banks behind them are 'locked in' to these projects, win or lose. The scenario where a malfunction or propellant loss takes a satellite out of service has been planned for. It requires corporate courage and applied risk to modify those terms. And courage is rare these days.

That was success. Now on to the risks of failure. It is similar to the escalation of complexity in 1 vs. n-body problems. This would probably be practical for geostationary orbits only, since our facility has lots of mass and finite energy and time to maneuver between jobs. Still there are more things to go wrong than right. Most satellites are 'deployed' with appendages unfolded... how to avoid damaging them? How to tether satellite and repair vehicle safely? The refueling process involves re-pressurization through couplings. What happens if/when tethers snap, couplings fail or tanks burst, escaping propellant slams the satellite against the vehicle, damaging it? What if the failure arises from a corporation or government failing to divulge some key piece of information about the satellite?

Now I'm the last person to go on about planned obsolescence as if it is a good thing, but in geosynchronous orbit it's kind of a good thing. If something has turned to shit and is out of service, it really is best, and safest, to have one certain kind of maintenance satellite up there --- a killer-pusher death satellite to disable and push the junk out of geosynchronous orbit and away from the other precious satellites.

Otherwise the first thing that goes Horribly Wrong will result in a disabled satellite and a satellite repair facility both careening across the heavens. What an awesome spectacle of corporate liability that would be. You could even spot the liability with the naked eye.

Comment: Science reporting at its best! (Score 4, Informative) 59 59

Okay, nothing in the linked article (that I could find) points to the actual study. After some googling, people are apparently reporting on this paper.

The paper has these highlights:

A survey of nearly 7000 Internet users tested associations between personality traits, past behavior, and viewing cat-related media online.

The study also examined Internet users’ motivations for consuming cat-related content, including emotion regulation and procrastination.

Additionally, it explored effects of Internet cat consumption on emotional states and enjoyment of this type of digital media.

Results point to certain personality types being more strongly associated with Internet cat consumption.

Furthermore, results support a conceptual model arguing that the happiness gained from viewing Internet cats can moderate the relationship between procrastination motives, guilt, and enjoyment.

None of this, and nothing in the abstract, is anywhere close to what others and linked articles in the post summary claim.

However, taking an austere view of the highlights, note that 7,000 people were polled and *self reported* that they felt good after watching cat videos.

Also, what does "[viewing] can moderate the relationship between procrastination motives, guilt, and enjoyment" mean? What is this study reporting, and how does one use this information?

"Moderate the relationship between things" is complete non-content speech. It's the thing one would expect from a politician trying to dodge a question.

Also - papers have "highlights" sections now?

Comment: Re:I want one for non-prime searches (Score 2) 424 424

A lot of the time I am searching for something but there is a top search category that is NOT what I want and keeps showing up. the "-" tag simply doesn't help enough.

Here's a way to tell if your search engine is thinking for you.

Search for "Great Tits" (a type of bird) and check the results.

If your search engine is trying to think for you, it'll become obvious on the first page of search results.

Comment: Beware of Crapping, Screeching Low Flying Monkeys (Score 1) 307 307

This issue exists and persists only to illustrate how many people will seize upon some dark conspiracy that not only 'means' nothing on its face... but if it were true and unraveled completely, would still mean nothing. I mean, think about it: there's absolutely nothing actionable in there.

People whose hobby is to fuck with people fuck with people with this fuck, as a hobby. Fuck those people.

If Moon Hoax stuff is coming from someone you love and respect... heed comments on the subject but adopt the same proud and polite tone as a potty training parent who finds a surprise package on the carpet. You cannot express dismay or anger at their poops because a life long poop anxiety is one of the worst things that can happen to a child. You need to scoop it up with their 'help', making friendly conversation about its texture and color, all the while heading to the toilet. Then it goes in and you say, "THAT's where it goes!" and they get to push the handle.

On Internet forums with strangers you don't need to actually scoop it up and take it to the potty (it is after all, someone else's web site). Just a dismissive but polite remark at the beginning that is encouraging like "That's a nice little poop you made, but let's try to get it into the potty next time."

Then find something else to discuss related to space, and discuss that.

Heed not anonymous comments on the subject, treat it as if it was Nature's Own Crap falling from the sky. You can infuriate the cowardly attention-seekers by making direct unseeing eye contact with them and their crap only to say, "How delicate is the process of crap-nucleation and how weighty is crap, that it can fall from a clear sky with no crap-clouds even visible! What a blessing!"

Shit can get personal too. The Bart Sibrel response is the only appropriate direct personal response, and of all the explorers Buzz Aldrin the only one 'man enough' to use it. The Right Stuff indeed.

Comment: I worry about 'Life Hacks' rotting our brains (Score 4, Insightful) 106 106

How many friggin' ways are there to hang shoes in your closet? You'd think that just piling your shoes on the floor has been holding us back all these years, and we're just beginning to get a handle on this shoe storage thing. Buy expensive plastic drawers, make things out of moldy cardboard, hang 'em and wrap 'em like flies in a spiderweb, on doors, above your bed. Make labels. How about an entire room full of wax people in various positions to wear our shoes for us? To select a pair just tip over the wax person and take their shoes off. Simple.

There is always some 'Target Number'. No one ever has a bright idea any more, they must save them up until there is a round or round-plus-one number. Only a brain dead doofus would click into '100 uses for a dead cat' when another article promises 101 uses.

Zero-Day Life Hacks are the worst. Mixed in with the rest, at a glance you can tell that they were made up on the spot to help the author achieve the target number, and are not worth the time spend reading them. And there is no way to unread them, no delivered punishment for this crime. The last time someone felt guilty about wasting another person's precious time was back in 1959.

Life hacks don't just present these tips, they go on about them. You can't just be told to slide a friggin' block of wood along the floor to help set molding at the proper height. There has to be a Using A Block Of Wood Smartly video, and there's always a FAQ with dumb questions like, when I slide it into a corner, what then? (start over in another room, maybe it will work there) and What if the wood falls over? (find another piece). Even the most ludicrous and contrived aspects of something generates lengthy discussion, as if we have carved out a Corner of the Universe devoted solely to wood block molding sliding. The comments slide off into oblivion and disappear like they do everywhere else, the Internet is now like a continuous roll of one-sided toilet paper.

The people surfing these 'Hacks' are really asking themselves, I have these opposeable thumbs connected to a brain. What are they for? Well one thing you could do is spend every spare moment of your life in a voyeuristic journey paging through Life Hacks. As the senses dull and the little voice in our head that says, "Now THAT's clever" becomes over-used, our desperate brains are spurting little endorphin rushes that represent the Eureka! moment, and for a split second we pretend to be filing away every Life Hack like some modern day Sherlock Holmes, to regurgitate it some day at the precise moment when it will attract that mate, save that marriage, save your life and impress everybody

The truth is that you are forgetting them as fast as you are absorbing them and your own brain is becoming that one-sided continuous roll of toilet paper. It's a scam and you are both scammer and scamee. When you go to bed tonight, try to remember all the valuable tips you've learned. Then in the morning. In the place of hands-on basic 'aboriginal skills' of problem solving with the use of fingernails, using levers, found objects and baling wire, things upon things --- we're just merely glancing at things

You know those night-time satellite photos that show cities, highways and towns as shimmering webs of light? Well in terms of average depth of human concentration... those lights are winking out. Celebrities who've had their asses reamed by hateful people on Twitter and delete their accounts (whoosh!) to go back to old-fashioned interviews and press conferences teach us an important lesson about modern culture and long term mental health... which I will not share. This is no 'Life Hack' tip here... figure it out yourself.

Life Hacks also eat up idle quiet time, in which the mind fits things together in silly ways that are uniquely your own. We must use the Internet -- to find the slow tides of thought, laughter and fable we wish to use to construct our worlds, and spend equal time out in the most desperate emotional wildernesses of our time, to tame them to our liking. Not passively surf 'Life Hacks'.

Work smarter, not harder, and be careful of your speling.